Japanese Would Rather Freeze than Be Impolite

In Japan, you leave a door open, and after a bit, people will start saying things like, “My, it certainly is cold in here, isn’t it?…Why is it so cold?…etc.” They may look at you pointedly when they say this. You are supposed to get the hint and go look at the door and figure out if you left it open or not.  They are so damn polite that they would rather sit in the cold than ask you to close the door!


Filed under Asia, Asians, Culture, Japan, Japanese, NE Asia, Northeast Asians, Race/Ethnicity, Regional

4 responses to “Japanese Would Rather Freeze than Be Impolite

  1. SHI

    So would the Chinese, Indians, Thai and other Asian nationalities. This phenomenon was captured by Geert Hofstede in his cultural dimensions theory.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofstede%27s_cultural_dimensions_theory Individualism vs. collectivism (IDV): This index explores the “degree to which people in a society are integrated into groups.” Individualistic societies have loose ties that often only relates an individual to his/her immediate family. They emphasize the “I” versus the “we.” Its counterpart, collectivism, describes a society in which tightly-integrated relationships tie extended families and others into in-groups. These in-groups are laced with undoubted loyalty and support each other when a conflict arises with another in-group.

    Asian and Middle-Eastern cultures focus on not appearing cold and insensitive to others. These are collective cultures where individual discomfort and suffering is seen as a non-priority in comparison to preserving the peace. Anyone who wants their own comfort zone with respect to the entire group is seen as a self-centered person. No one would want to be friends with him.

  2. Sun

    = Minnesota Nice.

  3. It seems to be a custom of European societies to be an individual. Society is centered around being different and expressing onself and their own abilities. I sometimes wonder if this may have affected the creativity Asians in thr scientific field. They lack the mentality of individualism which would give them the confidence to seek out a new solution or new way of thinking that would completely change the way society works. If it were up to Asian society alone, I think the introduction of automobiles into society would have happened much later than it did because they would be shamed so much for presenting them as alternative to horses or bicycles. That would destroy theit confidence in their sales pitch and the project would be abandoned.

    • Mayur Varshne

      Christian societies are far less judgmental and they respect the privacy of others. For them, it is alright to go against the conventions as long as the laws are not violated. For them, it is actually good to listen to one’s heart. Both the individual and the society co-exist, peacefully.

      The Christian societies treat people in the most humane manner yet very fairly. There is something for everybody. Of course, they have their own flaws and one of them is excessive liberty at the individual level.

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